Wealth and poverty - Research Paper Example

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The issues of wealth and poverty are universal when looking closely at how the society functions and which goals are the most significant for individuals in everyday life.It is a question of a broad discussion which has to epitomize the main points concerning the very nature of wealth and poverty and its causes in a societal construct of living…
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The issues of wealth and poverty are universal when looking closely at how the society functions and which goals are the most significant for individuals in everyday life. It is a question of a broad discussion which has to epitomize the main theoretical points concerning the very nature of wealth and poverty and its causes in a societal construct of living. One of the first coming standpoints is that a man is a biosocial creature. In this respect all amenities of the society are peculiar to all human beings, as long as living in a material world presupposes the urge for having different things at one’s disposal. Thus, based on the theoretical paradigms of functionalism, conflict, and symbolic interactionism, individuals are divided into different strata allowing them to be associated either with wealth or with poverty. First of all, functionalism as a theoretical paradigm in sociology discovers the features of wealth and poverty. According to the functionalism, all six institutions of the society tend toward social equilibrium, and individuals are likely to be forced to follow the prescriptions and norms of social life (Andersen & Taylor, 2007). Each individual is likely or unlikely, lucky or unlucky, to gain as much as he/she can. In turn, different stratums serve to point out the mere extent of their power and right to have the particular amount of material amenities in hand. According to the conflict theory, there perpetual forces within the society aimed at competition for the possession of different resources (Andersen & Taylor, 2007). Thus, the society is divided into groups which are symbolically performed into the so-called “pyramid” with elites on the top and marginal layers of the society (the largest part) at the bottom (Brinkerhoff, White, & Ortega, 2007). As a matter of fact, urge for wealth among the highest echelons of power within the society makes it either weak or strong regarding the extent of law supremacy within the community (Phillips & Pittman, 2009). Thus, by maximizing benefits individuals are divided into those having more or less things and resources owned during a particular span of time. Symbolic interactionism serves a theoretical background to understand why concepts of wealth and poverty are so differentiated in the society. It appeals to the idea of self-concept and an individual’s desire to feel better when having much money and other resources at his/her disposal. The question is that a man is a social product who inherited this very aptness to grow rich or grow poor in mind and in material resources as well (Shepard, 2009). To say more, the distribution of wealth and poverty is also characterized by the manners people are likely to follow. Thereupon, symbolic interactionist approach “focuses on signs, gestures, shared rules, and written and spoken language” (Tischler, 2010, p. 20). Thus, according to the three aforementioned theoretical approaches, the distribution of wealth and poverty is based on the way individuals serve their function and ask for more in what they are doing paying close attention to how they reach particular possibilities to become wealthier. Otherwise, there is another possibility to become poorer. In such deviations, there is plenty to talk about the dynamics of the society. Reference Andersen, M. L., & Taylor, H. F. (2007). Sociology: understanding a diverse society (4 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Cengage Learning. Brinkerhoff, D. B., White, L. K., & Ortega, S. T. (2007). Essentials of Sociology (7 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Cengage Learning. Phillips, R., & Pittman, R. H. (2009). An Introduction to Community Development. London: Taylor & Francis. Shepard, J. M. (2009). Sociology (10 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Cengage Learning. Tischler, H. L. (2010). Introduction to Sociology (10 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Cengage Learning. Read More
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